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The Transitional Justice Institute (TJI), established in 2003, is a law-led interdisciplinary Research Institute at Ulster University.

We are a two campus institute, based in Jordanstown (near Belfast) and Magee (in Derry/Londonderry).

In REF 2014, Law at Ulster placed fourth overall in the UK law ranking and TJI ranked first for research impact with 100% of research impact rated as world-leading.

TJI is internationally recognised as a leading academic centre in developing the field of transitional justice – broadly, the study of law in societies emerging from conflict and repression. 

We place research emanating from Northern Ireland at the forefront of local and global academic, legal and policy debates. 


TJI has established authoritative analyses of rapidly developing legal controversies in Northern Ireland for the benefit of a global audience. 

TJI scholars advance cutting-edge research and practice in multiple conflicted and transitional societies including Chile, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Israel-Palestine and Colombia. 

We bring human rights and international law expertise to bear on a range of complex issues. 

TJI espouses an 'active research' model, wherein engagement with institutions, policy-makers and communities (internationally and locally) generates research, and research generates engagement.


Our aims are to:

  • build a theoretical and practical understanding of the role of 'transitional justice', and the underlying relationship between justice and peace
  • examine the role of the international and domestic legal systems and institutions in facilitating transition from conflict
  • make links between the experience of Northern Ireland and international experience, so as to benefit both Northern Ireland and other contexts
  • inform policy makers involved in peacemaking in local and international institutions
  • make visible and critically examine gendered experiences of transition

The Institute is led by Professor Rory O'Connell (Director) and Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin (Associate Director).

External board members

Current TJI external board members are as follows: